Praise as Leeds United loanee makes Whites return with new aim and boss citing area to improve
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England youth international midfielder Lewis Bate spent last season on loan at League One side Oxford United and made 35 appearances before his season was cut short in March due to breaking a bone in his hand. Bate then returned to Leeds and made Whites boss Daniel Farke’s first-team bench for the first three games of the new Championship season and the club’s two Carabao Cup ties, bagging one minute as a late substitute in the first round beating of Shrewsbury Town at Elland Road.
The midfielder has not made any of Farke’s last 11 matchday squads but completed a third full match for United’s under-21s in succession when playing the duration of last Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool’s under-21s in York.
The England youth international produced a strong performance in the middle of the mark, after which Whites under-21s boss Michael Skubala reflected on his Whites return, aim and a main area to improve.
"He's been fantastic,” said Skubala, asked about Bate’s attitude upon dropping down to the 21s following his Oxford return. "He's trying to keep improving himself. He wants to keep getting minutes and he was one to probably look a little bit tired in there - the two sixes - him and Darko (Gyabi). But his attitude has been absolutely class. He's really looking forward to just playing minutes and getting back into confidence and being a good footballer which he is."
Skubala added: "He's very good at getting about the pitch. He's very good at getting on the ball for us. He links play well. He's a real big asset for us. At times, he probably holds on to it too long so he needs to keep improving in that and I think here he gets a bit more time than he might be used to at higher levels of football. So he needs to keep improving on when and where to stay on it really but he's a very good technician."